OSCAR BRANCH COLQUITT was born in Camilla, Georgia. He attended public schools there and in Daingerfield, Texas, as well as the Daingerfield Academy. Having learned the printing trade, he founded the Pittsburg, Texas Gazette and published the Terrell, Texas Times-Star. He also played a role in establishing the first cotton seed mill in Texas, and he founded the First National Bank of Terrell. He was a member of the Texas Senate from 1895 to 1897, a Texas State Revenue Agent in 1898, and Texas Railroad Commissioner from 1903 to 1911. In addition, he was admitted to the Bar in 1900. He ran unsuccessfully for the governor in 1906 but won the office four years later as a supporter of prohibition. Achievements during his two terms in office included completion of state prison system reform, increased appropriations for the state’s educational institutions, and labor protections. At the same time, Colquitt locked horns with the legislature over the issue of prohibition. Although the legislature favored prohibition, a popular referendum had rejected it by a thin margin, and Colquitt declined to resubmit the question to the legislature. In 1916, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate, after which he became involved in the petroleum industry in Dallas. In 1928 he headed “Hoover Democrats of Texas” and from 1929 to 1933 served on the U.S. Board of Mediation. From 1935 until his death in 1940, Colquitt was a field representative for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 38. New York: James T. White & Company.